Post ‘BREXIT’: The Only Certainty is…Uncertainty?

July 12, 2016

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Post ‘BREXIT’: The Only Certainty is…Uncertainty?

Although there has been huge political fallout in the last fortnight as a result of the BREXIT vote, the long-term effect on British jobs, business and individuals is unclear.

From an economic perspective, after an initial plummet from 6338 to under 6000, the stock market appears to have recovered to near pre-vote levels (FTSE 100 at 6687 at 12 July 2016) and although the value of the Pound fell sharply against the Dollar in the immediate aftermath of the vote, it appears now to have stabilised, albeit levels just above the 31-year low seen on 27 June 2016.

However, against this backdrop there has been a significant impact on business output, which reflects company orders for the next quarter, slipping from 100.6 in April and 99.7 in May to 99 in June. Of the various sectors, manufacturing had the gloomiest outlook and job creation across all sectors had slowed to a two-year low.

While businesses are concerned about margins and productivity, many Britons are concerned about the impact of the vote on their finances, particularly mortgages, wages and job prospects.

Because the EU exerts significant influence on Britain’s legal and economic regime, the true impact and outcome of the referendum result remains to be seen.

Here are some of the comments made in the wake of the vote:

‘It’s too early to know the full implications for family law, but what is clear is that we are entering a period of great uncertainty. Like most areas of legislation, family law in the UK is currently intrinsically linked to that in other jurisdictions.

We won’t know yet what withdrawal from the EU will mean for…divorce proceedings; or maintenance arrangements, which are currently regulated throughout the European Union. It’s…a distinct possibility that any currently planned or envisaged reforms to family law will be put on hold’ - Resolution Chair Nigel Shepherd

‘The only certainty today is that the next few years will be uncertain as the UK charts new territory. In the short term it’s unlikely that there will be dramatic tax changes…a quick flick through the tax statutes shows innumerable references to European law, so this [extracting the UK from the EU] will not be a quick process’ – Francesca Lagerberg, Grant Thornton

‘It will be important for the Government to consult carefully with business, tax professionals and others on the practical implications of policy changes…business hates uncertainty and anything which can provide them with greater confidence…will be helpful’ – John Cullinane, Chartered Institute of Taxation Policy Director

‘The UK vote to leave the European Union has huge implications for cross-border families both in the UK and in Europe…STEP will take an active role in highlighting their concerns to help provide certainty and enable these families to plan for their futures’ – George Hogson, STEP Interim Chief Executive

In his comments made immediately after the result of the vote was announced, the President of the Law Society, Jonathan Smithers commented:

‘We do hope that England and Wales will continue to be the global centre for legal excellence and we will be offering support and guidance at this time of change and playing our full part in aiding a transition into the post-EU era.’   

HMG Law will continue to monitor developments and report further on any changes which will affect you, whether from an individual or business perspective.

posted by Kate Hall | July 12 2016